Make the asylum system a success! Volt wants to dramatically reform the asylum system within Europe to make it more effective, more humane, and fairer. Additionally, Volt envisions an international system which will prevent and address refugee crises: this is a global issue that should be dealt with at the international level.
What would we do first?
Make the asylum system fair, effective, and quick
What is going on?
One of the biggest crises in the world since WW2 is unfolding at the doorstep of Europe and our great and mighty continent is only taking a secondary role in helping those affected by conflicts in the Mediterranean basin, and beyond. An unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from their homes. This means that nearly 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute as a result of conflict or persecution. Contrary to discourse that EU countries are carrying the burden of African and Middle Eastern refugees, developing countries host 86 percent of the world’s refugees. The current focus in Europe is mostly on curbing migrations flows - which in the first 9 months of 2017 accounted for 150,000 arrivals, equal to 0.03% of the population of the Union - instead of providing a safe haven and opportunities to those that are fleeing war.
What is our vision?
"The measure of a civilization is how you treat its weakest members.” Volt aims to dramatically reform the way the European system deals with asylum seekers and refugees, to make it more effective, humane, and fair. Additionally, Volt wants to set up an international system to prevent and address refugee crises: this is a global issue that should be dealt with at the international level.
How do we get there?
1. Reform the EU refugee system: Volt aims to develop European policies to answer refugee crises in a human and effective way and to set up a European system which addresses the effects and challenges of refugee crises among and within European countries. This is how Volt aims to do it:
- Set up a Unified EU Refugee Policy to define a unified approach to manage refugee flows from outside the EU. Within the EU, some countries are overwhelmingly taking in asylum seekers and refugees. This is why the Dublin system needs to be reformed and a settlement system need to be defined (e.g., based on population, population density, wealth, age, and growth). Countries non-conforming with the amended Dublin system and settlement system should be penalized (for example, financially).
- Continue the practice of protecting refugees for the duration of the risk. However, offer permanent residence to refugees after a certain period if they are still at risk (five to seven years) when certain criteria are met. There is little chance of refugees going back to their home countries after such a long period, as often there is nothing to go back to. Immediate permanent integration is also required for certain types of refugees, such as unaccompanied minors.
- Make the asylum system fair, effective, and quick: by shortening the time period until the final asylum decision is taken; by always providing social, legal, and psychological support with specialised services; and by allowing asylum seekers to enter the job market from the very first day.
- Involve the private sector and educational institutions to foster integration, by designing alternative accreditation systems for undocumented skills and qualifications; by offering training courses and language classes; by gathering early information to facilitate employment matching; and by setting up platforms and communication channels to explain and openly discuss rights and duties of people living in Europe.
- Ensure decent housing for every asylum seeker and refugee. Additionally, incentivise the adoption of decentralised habitations to foster integration, increasing the chance of securing jobs and of creating a new life in the host country.
2. In the long term, set up an international system to prevent and address refugee crises: Refugee crises affect the world as a whole, hence should be dealt with on a global level. Volt will encourage the international community to:
- Move towards an international administration of refugee crises. The failure to do so is not only unfair, but it is short sighted as it drives extra-regional asylum and prompts smuggling and trafficking. This is why it is necessary to move internationally in the direction of “pre-determined burden (financial) sharing and responsibility (human) sharing quotas.” Refugee crises have to be dealt with proactively, not reactively.
- Allow different protection roles for different countries, embracing common but differentiated state responsibilities: this means that “beyond the common duty to provide first asylum, states could assume a range of protection roles within their responsibility-sharing quota (protection for duration of risk; exceptional immediate permanent integration; residual resettlement)—though all states would be required to make contributions to both (financial) burden-sharing and (human) responsibility-sharing, with no trade-offs between the two.”
- Ensure safe passage by creating humanitarian corridors. While combating people smuggling is necessary, it must be acknowledged that often, closing one route has the result of creating another one, sometimes more dangerous. Better communication with people attempting the journey, both in their home countries and in the transition countries, is necessary.
- Advocate in front of the international community for famine and climate migrants to be classified as refugees, or be afforded the same rights under international law.
- Help transform the protracted refugee camp situation to enable refugees and asylum seekers to contribute to society and ensure that they are afforded their full rights.
- Work at the source and tackle the problems that create refugee crises in order to prevent them, through international cooperation and diplomacy.
This policy is focused on asylum seekers and refugees, not on migrants in general.